Author Archives: Joshua Prince, Esq.

About Joshua Prince, Esq.

With our 2nd Amendment rights being attacked at both the Federal and State level, and the ATF (Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) trying to close down FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees) for minor infractions while making FFLs the scapegoat when the ATF's records are inaccurate, I want to taking this opportunity to introduce myself. I am one of only a handful of attorneys across the US that practices in the niche area of law known as firearms law. I decided to concentrate my legal practice on firearms law not only because I am a shooter and firearms enthusiast, but also to ensure that our inalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms is never encroached upon. I handle cases at the Federal and State level for both FFLs and individuals. At the federal and state levels for individuals, I actively defend the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution and Section 21 of the PA Constitution, as well as, help individuals with: - License to Carry Firearms Denials; - Challenges to Erroneous PICS Denials; - Relief from Firearms Disabilities; - Estate Planning Advice; - Gun/NFA Trusts; and - 42 USC 1983 Actions for Deprivation of Civil Rights At both the state and federal levels, I represent FFLs and SOTs throughout Pennsylvania and the US regarding: - ATF Compliance Inspections; - Warning Letters and Hearings; - FFL Revocations; - Corporate Structure Advice - Indoor/Outdoor Range Implementation; and - Forfeiture Proceedings In following my love for firearms and firearms law, I have taught several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars on Firearms in Estates and Trusts and Firearms Law 101 for several Bar Associations, including Berks, Cumberland, and Dauphin Counties. I also planned and taught several Firearms in Estates CLE classes for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI). While at Widener Law School, I was a member of the Widener Law Journal. I wrote an article on the Inaccuracy of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). I also had an article published on Fee Disputes in Workers Compensation cases in the Widener Law Journal, Volume 18, No. 2. You can often find me posting on several internet forums, including Subguns, Uzitalk, AR15, and PAFOA. I also hold PA Firearms Law classes for local ranges to inform the public on the firearm laws of the Commonwealth. Following in my father's footsteps, I am also a Board member for the Pottstown Police Athletic League (PAL).

Maryland Certifies Chief Counsel Prince As A Handgun Instructor

Today, the Maryland State Police certified Chief Counsel Joshua Prince, of the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., as a qualified handgun instructor for the state of Maryland, which permits him to instruct Handgun Qualification License applicants and Handgun Wear and Bear applicants.

Firearm Instructor.jpg

As many of our viewers are aware, Chief Counsel Prince recently took the grueling Maryland Bar Exam to begin practicing firearms law and defending the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the state courts throughout Maryland. He also looks forward to working with the Legislature to amend Maryland’s Constitution to provide an explicit state constitutional right to Keep and Bear Arms, since the Maryland courts have previously held in Scherr v. Handgun Permit Review Board, 880 A.2d 1137 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2005) that Article 28 of the Maryland Constitution does not provide an individual right.

Please join us in congratulating Chief Counsel Prince on this achievement!

 


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® and FICG® are registered trademarks of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C.

Prince Law Offices, P.C. is licensed to use these trademarks, in accordance with Civil Rights Defense Firm’s approval.

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Filed under Firearms Law, Maryland Firearms Law, News & Events, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

Removal of PA Character and Reputation Clause for an LTCF

Today, Representative Russ Diamond and 20 pro-Second Amendment/Article 1, Section 21 Representatives submitted a new bill, HB 918, which would remove the character and reputation / good cause provision of 18 Pa.C.S. 6109. Many issuing authorities, like Philadelphia and Monroe have utilized the character and reputation provision to prevent law-abiding individuals from obtaining an LTCF.

Representative Diamond’s memo details how a young lady, who has no criminal or mental health background,  was granted an LTCF in one county and after moving to another county, denied her renewal. (Although it was in a different county, since she had a valid LTCF at the time of application, the law supports that such was a renewal, even though with a different issuing authority.) Furthermore, Representative Diamond’s memo explains how the character and reputation clause is violative of Article 2, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as it is an unlawful delegation of power, supported by legions of PA Supreme Court case law.

Please support HB 918 by contacting your Pennsylvania Representatives and requesting that they co-sponsor or support HB 918. Together, we can remove this unconstitutional provision that permits the unequal application of the law and preempt issuing authorities from revoking resident’s Article 1, Section 21 rights!

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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

4hr Firearms Law Seminar – April 15, 2017 with Rockwell Tactical!

On April 15, 2017, Chief Counsel Joshua Prince, Attorney Eric Winter and Attorney Adam Kraut of Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) in conjunction with Rockwell Tactical, will offer a four (4) hour seminar on state and federal firearms law at the DoubleTree Resort at 2400 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster, PA 17602.

The cost is $20 and you should register early, as the classes sell out fast! To register or to find out further information, check out Rockwell Tactical’s registration page.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Rockwell Tactical at info@rockwelltactical.com or 717-405-2999.

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Our Veterans Need Our Help To Ensure Their Second Amendment Rights! It Is Time For Us To Repay Our Debt To Them!

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240-175, with numerous Democrats voting in support, on H.R. 1181 – Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which would prevent the Department of Veterans Affairs from stripping a veteran’s right to Keep and Bear Arms in the absence of an order or finding by a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority that such veteran is a danger to himself or herself or others.

Specifically, H.R. 1181 provides:

Notwithstanding any determination made by the Secretary under section 5501A of this title, in any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental defective under subsection (d)(4) or (g)(4) of section 922 of title 18 without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.

It now moves to the Senate for approval, where we need YOUR support. Please contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to SUPPORT H.R. 1181.

As many of you are aware, I recently detailed a client’s putative loss of his Second Amendment rights through the VA, because the VA, sua sponte and in the absence of any form of due process, elected to place him into “supervised direct payment status.”

It is imperative that we protect our veterans and enact H.R. 1181! Please take a few minutes out of your day to contact your Senators and let them know that it is time that we treat our veterans with the respect and dignity they deserve and ensure the protection of their constitutional rights – the rights that they have steadfastly defended of ours. Our veterans are not second-class citizens and our Senators need to know that we’ll defend their rights, just as they’ve been willing to sacrifice everything to preserve our rights.

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Filed under ATF, Firearms Law, Uncategorized

2nd Annual FICG/Shooters Gauntlet Next EVOLUTION Machine Gun Shoot!

We are proud to announce that Firearms Industry Consulting Group (FICG)® (FICG®) and Shooters Gauntlet, LLC will be hosting our 2nd annual Next EVOLUTION machinegun shoot at the Shooters Gauntlet on June 3-4, 2017, in celebration of the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution, and Article 1, Section 21 of the PA Constitution. Last year, with the assistance of our great friends at USA Chemical, we broke the world record with a 600 lbs binary explosion…just wait to see what we have scheduled for this year. (UPDATE – as a teaser, there will be  a 20MM machine gun and two mini rail guns, one shoots a cyclic rate of 2500 RPM, the other 4000 RPM…and we’re just getting started!).

Located deep in the endless mountains of Pennsylvania (directions below), about 4 hours northwest of NYC, 3 hours north of Harrisburg, PA, in the town of Monroeton PA, 18832, our 2nd annual next evolution machinegun shoot will offer shooting experiences that are not available anywhere else! If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so here! The admission cost is drastically reduced for those registering in advance and you’ll receive updates and notices about special events, shooting experiences and local hotel deals.

The shooting experiences available include:

  1. Main machinegun range, approximately 200 yards long and 75-100-125 yards deep!;
  2. Separate, secluded, silencer-only range (where manufacturers such as Liberty, Sig Silencers, SilencerCo, Thunderbeast…etc will be demoing their products);
  3. 1100 yards range and ability to rent a 50. caliber Barrett;
  4. Engage target while traveling down a zip line;
  5. Engage target while hanging upside down from the inversion wall; and
  6. Go off the grid and engage targets during the assault hike!

Additionally, as ATF has already approved the event as a sanctioned event, there will be a gun show section for vendors to sell firearms and parts! All applicable local, state and federal laws apply, including applicable state tax regulations.

As Firearm Industry vendors, representatives and personalities register, we will post a new article specifying all of those who are set to attend! Last year, the vendors included (and we anticipate them attending this year!):

We also anticipate a number of raffles/giveaways like last year and will post about them as we approach the shoot.

As the sponsors of this event are extremely supportive of the youth-shooting experience, we worked tirelessly with NUMEROUS insurance carriers to obtain coverage for minors to be able to attend. Accordingly, minors will be permitted to attend the event, where those 14 years of age and older accompanied by a parent/guardian will be permitted to shoot, except for machine guns and canons. Those under 14 year of age, who are accompanied by a parent/guardian, will only be permitted to observe. Unfortunately, due to the requirements of the insurance carrier, all minors will have to produce a Government document (e.g. birth certificate, passport…etc) stating their date of birth.

Also, there will be food available onsite!

Accommodations: Special hotel accommodations have been negotiated, which you can find here.

Local Directions: The Shooters Gauntlet, LLC is located on Millstone Road, Monroeton, PA 18332. From the Towanda PA area:

At the intersection of route 220 and route 414, take route 414 west (route 414 begins here) for appx. 2.6 miles. Turn left onto Brocktown Rd. (sign here for RODS GARAGE) for  appx 0.2 miles to Weston Rd, turn right. Continue on Weston Rd. for 1.6 miles, and then turn left over bridge onto Millstone Rd. Follow Millstone Rd appx. 2.2 miles to intersection, turn left over bridge remaining on Millstone Rd. You will see the signs and receive direction from there

NOTE: For the Stone Mountain Machine Gun Event, follow signs for parking when on Millstone Road. There will be parking attendants to assist you. As for the events that take place during the Stone Mountain Machine Gun Event that require 4wd, all transportation to and from those events will be provided. Attendees will not be allowed to drive there own vehicles off road due to high traffic and time constraints.

If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for?!?! Come on out, get your machinegun on and meet FICG® Chief Counsel and your PA Gun Attorney®, Joshua Prince, as well as, our other FICG® attorneys, while enjoying the rich seclusion that Shooters Gauntlet has to offer.

Brought to you by your PA Gun Attorney® and PA Firearms Lawyer®, as well as, the home of Armor Piercing Arguments®.

Be sure to share this event with your family, friends and anyone you know who loves guns!

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Filed under News & Events, Shoots, Uncategorized

Superior Court Holds That Switchblades Are Not Protected By The Second Amendment

Yesterday, in a very short non-precedential opinion, a three judge panel of the Superior Court held in Commonwealth v. William Battle that a switchblade is not protected by the Second Amendment.

As discussed in the decision, there is no dispute that upon entering the Pike County Administrative Building, Mr. Battle emptied his pockets, including a switchbade knife, at the metal detectors and was thereafter arrested. The sole issue that he raised on appeal was: “Whether the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, in prohibiting the possession of automatic knives, violates the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?” Interestingly, it does not appear that an argument was raised in relation to Article 1, Section 21, although I cannot honestly state that I believe the outcome would have been any different.

In the 5 page decision, for which the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent Second Amendment holding Caetano v. Massachusetts is not mentioned (and causes me to wonder whether Mr. Battle’s public defender addressed it- UPDATE: Battle’s attorney Jason Ohliger confirmed below in the comments that he did raise it and it was central to his argument), the Superior Court declares that “Appellant’s reliance on Heller is misplaced, as offensive weapons are not covered by the constitutional right to bear arms.”

In what can only be described as a twisted form of logic to support its conclusion, the court states that since switchblades “are not possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” they are considered dangerous and unusual weapons. Thus, by the mere fact that the General Assembly declared them unlawful – thereby preventing individuals from lawfully possessing switchblades – the court contends that switchblades are not possessed by law-abiding individuals. Does that make your head hurt? Cause it does mine.

In essence, if the court’s logic was correct, then D.C.’s ban that was struck down in Heller as unconstitutional, should have been declared constitutional, since it was unlawful for any law-abiding individual to possess an operable firearm in his/her home in D.C. Also lost on the court is the fact that only 15 states ban switchblades, with the remaining finding that they do have a common lawful purpose. Unfortunately, I doubt this was brought to the court’s attention. UPDATE: Contrary to my assumption, Battle’s attorney Jason Ohliger confirmed below in the comments that he reviewed which states permit vs. which states do not permit switchblades.

The only saving grace is that this decision was a non-precedential decision by a three judge panel. Pursuant to the Superior Court’s Internal Operating Procedure 65.37:

An unpublished memorandum decision shall not be relied upon or cited by a Court or a party in any other action or proceeding, except that such a memorandum decision may be relied upon or cited (1) when it is relevant under the doctrine of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel, and (2) when the memorandum is relevant to a criminal action or proceeding because it recites issues raised and reasons for a decision affecting the same defendant in a prior action or proceeding. When an unpublished memorandum is relied upon pursuant to this rule, a copy of the memorandum must be furnished to the other party to the Court.

If you have been charged with carrying a switchblade, contact us today to discuss your legal options.

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law, Uncategorized

Franklin County Sheriff Contends He’s Immune From Judicial Oversight

In a brief filed before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the Franklin County Sheriff has taken an eerily Orwellian position that he is immune from judicial oversight and cannot be held liable for his actions – even those explicitly violating state law.

As our viewers are aware, on May 20, 2016, the Commonwealth Court issued a monumental decision in  John Doe, et al., v. Franklin County, et al., 1634 C.D. 2015 regarding the confidentiality of license to carry firearms (LTCF) applicant information, wherein, among other things, it held that the disclosure of LTCF applicant information through the use of un-enveloped postcards was a breach of the confidentiality provision found in 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(i).

As a result, Franklin County, former Franklin County Sheriff Dane Anthony, and the other defendants, appealed the decision to the PA Supreme Court, where they asked the Court to grant review of the entire Commonwealth Court’s decision, including as to whether the use of un-enveloped postcards constituted a public disclosure. On December 21, 2016, the PA Supreme Court generally denied their request to review the decision; however, it agreed to consider “[w]hether the General Assembly intended to abrogate high public official immunity when it enacted 18 Pa. C.S. §6111(i)” in relation to Defendant former Franklin Co Sheriff Dane Anthony.

On January 30, 2017, the Defendants filed their brief contending that former Sheriff Dane Anthony is entitled to high public official immunity and that sheriffs “should not be burdened with monstrous litigation and damage exposure about possible incidental viewing of a postcard years ago.” More disconcerting, they argue that the Commonwealth Court’s decision “threatens to gut absolute immunity for public officials into no real protection at all.” (Of course, as discussed below, they seem to ignore the fact that high public official immunity was seemingly abolished by the PA Supreme Court in the 1970’s and even if it wasn’t, it is unconstitutional under the Pennsylvania Constitution). However, it is their main argument that is absolutely Orwellian:

statements or acts of high public officials which are made in the course of and within the scope of their official powers or duties give them complete immunity from legal redress. (emphasis added)

It would seem that this position goes directly contrary to the oath declared, pursuant to Article VI, Section 3, by all Sheriffs in Pennsylvania, especially in light of Article 1, Section 11. The oath set-forth in Article VI declares:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.

Contrary to the oath, the Sheriff’s position is directly in conflict with Article 1, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which declares that “[s]uits may be brought against the Commonwealth in such manner, in such courts and in such cases as the Legislature may by law direct,” since high public official immunity is common law (e.g. judicially created) and has never been enacted by the General Assembly. (For those reviewing the docket, as Franklin County, et al., failed to timely submit their reproduced record, they were required to petition the Court to allow them to untimely file their reproduced record, which the Court granted).

Surprisingly, the PA Sheriff’s Association filed an Amicus Curiae brief contending that sheriffs in Pennsylvania should be entitled to high public official immunity and immune from judicial review.

In response, on February 2, 2017, we filed our brief explaining that (1) high public official immunity was seemingly abolished by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision Ayala v. Phila. Bd. of Pub. Educ., where it abolished governmental immunity; (2) high public official immunity is inapplicable to 18 Pa.C.S. 6111; and (3) high public official immunity is unconstitutional.

Yesterday, the Defendants filed their reply brief , which appears to be designed to merely confuse the Justices into believing they actually have an argument.

The Court will now decide whether to hold oral argument on the matter or merely issue a decision based on the briefs. We’ll keep you apprised of further action in this matter.

If you or someone you know has had their confidential license to carry firearms applicant information disclosed, contact us today to discuss today to discuss YOUR rights. Dedicated to the protection of your Second Amendment and Article 1, Section 21 rights, we are YOUR PA Firearms Lawyers.

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Filed under Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law